Matthew Dear talks art show, passion for painting and more on ‘Modern Music’

Matthew Dear joined “Modern Music” host Jon Moshier inside the WDET studios.

Jon Moshier, Matthew Dear

Ann Arbor’s Matthew Dear is an internationally-acclaimed electronic music composer, DJ, songwriter and bandleader.

Dear co-founded Ghostly International Records and it’s more dance floor-oriented offshoot, Spectral Sound. Aside from releasing seven full-length albums, Dear produced remixes commissioned by The XX, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Spoon, Hot Chip, The Postal Service, The Chemical Brothers and more.

The Michigan native’s latest creative project is visual art — his debut multimedia art show takes place at Spot Lite Detroit with an opening reception Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. “Moving Color” features analog and digital visual art and an accompanying ambient musical performance by Dear. Clark Warner will headline an afterglow DJ set.

Dear joined Modern Music to talk about his foray into visual art and performed inside WDET’s studios.

“I wasn’t a visual artist. I was the music guy. Come COVID and time on our hands, I said, ‘You know what, I’m finally going to learn Photoshop, After Effects, stuff like it,'” says Dear. “It became my new passion because I wasn’t touring. I was doing some music online and streaming, but I hadn’t necessarily felt very passionate about that in a while anyways. So it was good to have this new thing that kind of came up, and it just caught me like a bug. I was going crazy. I made a TV show with my wife, I was editing. It was just so fun. It was a lot like music in a way, but just with different ingredients.”

Dear enjoys the flexibility when it comes to creating art, especially with painting.

“When it feels good, you kind of go to the same place, you get to that lost zone, where you’re not thinking about doing the thing that’s in front of you. And I know when I’m feeling that with the paint and stuff, it’s just like you don’t care where it goes,” Dear explains. “There’s so much movement when you find the arm movement that works, and it’s kind of like when you’re playing a guitar riff or if you’re playing keyboard, and it’s just all there. It’s just it’s coalescing.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Matthew Dear using the media player above.

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  • Jon Moshier
    Jon Moshier is host of Modern Music. Always with an ear to the underground, Moshier presents the best in new music and emerging artists each week.